This past week, Bethesda announced the Manager’s Awards for the best players on the team in 2018, and there were quite a lot from the 2018 Montgomery Cup champions with the best record in the league.
The Bethesda Big Train had a successful 2018 season in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. They won back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017. However, this past season they were named co-champions along with the Baltimore Redbirds, one of the other best teams in the league.
In this year’s LCS Finals, the Big Train and Redbirds split the series at 1-1 apiece, with Bethesda taking Game One at Shirley Povich Field, and Baltimore winning Game Two at Carlo Crispino Stadium in Towson. Had Game Three in Bethesda not been canceled, there would have been a sole champion for the Cal Ripken League season. Nonetheless, it was still another great season from the Big Train.
The Most Valuable Player award went to pitcher/first baseman Alec Burleson. This two-way player was not only the best player on Bethesda, but in the whole Cal Ripken League. This past season, Burleson batted .383, hitting 10 home runs and 44 RBIs with a 1.220 OPS. Pitching-wise, he went 26.1 innings with a 0.34 ERA, striking out 23 batters. The sophomore at East Carolina University finished with a 3-1 record.
Outfielder Justin Wylie won the Most Outstanding Hitter award. This year, Wylie set team records in batting average and on-base percentage, with a .417 average and a .526 OBP for the Big Train. He also hit seven home runs and batted in 25 runs. Wylie is currently a senior at the University of Arizona.
The Starting Pitcher of the Year award went to Carlos Lomeli. Lomeli finished 2018 with a 4-1 record, 37 K’s and a 1.76 earned run average through 30.2 innings. He is currently a sophomore at St. Mary’s College (CA).
The Relief Pitcher of the Year was Ryan Metz. This sophomore at Virginia Tech finished the season with four saves and 20 strikeouts through 18 innings. Metz also had an impressive 0.00 ERA.
Finally, the Utility Man of the Year award went to infielder Fox Semones. In his third season with Bethesda, Semones batted .283, while scoring 35 runs and stealing 15 stolen bases. He also had a .458 on-base percentage. Semones is also a junior at James Madison University.
Here’s to seeing what Sal Colangelo’s young squad can accomplish in the summer of 2019.